The Indian legal industry has seen young lawyers making their mark in the market by setting high standards and achieving results for their clients. ALB has listed 50 lawyers who are making an impact in the Indian legal scene. The list is in alphabetical order and certain lawyers have been profiled.
Abir Lal Dey
Archana Khosla Burman
Jeevan Ballav Panda
Shweta Shroff Chopra
Mithun V. Thanks
Kanika Shah Wadhwa
ANURADHA AGNIHOTRI, 37, partner, Trilegal
A dispute resolution expert, Agnihotri has been a part of the legal sector for 14 years. She has extensive experience in international commercial and domestic arbitrations and litigation across courts and tribunals in India.
She regularly handles matters involving shareholder disputes, investment disputes, construction projects and a variety of cutting-edge commercial issues.
Agnihotri has also been working on technology disputes as well as with the TMT team, particularly representing intermediaries in various proceedings filed against them in defamation suits and similar matters.
She regularly appears on behalf of clients as an arguing counsel in arbitrations and courts and is passionate about two things – a strong judiciary and women at work.
“I engaged Trilegal Bangalore in an arbitration matter that required our counsel to have detailed understanding of the business transaction and the relevant facts,” says a client. “Anuradha was the dealing partner for us who understood the transaction in no time. I was amazed with Anuradha’s business acumen and the way she argued and explained the matter to the arbitrator.”
SOUMITRA BANERJEE, 36, partner, Fox Mandal & Associates
Banerjee, who is well versed in corporate, M&A and project finance, has more than 12 years of legal experience and is also a member of the International Bar Association. He has had good career growth at Fox Mandal & Associates and went on to become the youngest partner in the firm.
Banerjee has led on some important matters including representing Piramal Fund in its investment of 260 million rupees in the form of financial facility towards a real estate developer based in Bengaluru for the development of real estate project based in the city.
He is currently advising Inventive Global Solution on an on-going equity investment in a specialised investee company based out of Maharashtra engaged in the IT & ITeS sector.
Banerjee is also a regular speaker at the Start-up Leadership Program in Bangalore & Pune.
Lata Murkot Ramunny, sole proprietor, Ampersand Consultancy, says: “Soumitra Banerjee is a true professional and a thorough gentleman. He understood the business nuances and genuinely advised every step along a challenging journey- a totally new experience for me. A very ethical and patient person who delivered what was promised.”
ASHISH BHAN, 35, partner, Trilegal
Bhan, whose practice focuses on dispute resolution, white-collar, and arbitration, has been in the industry for 12 years. Prior to joining Trilegal, he was an independent practitioner. He appeared in cases before the Supreme Court (SC) and Delhi High Court. At a young age, he argued one of the landmark cases in the SC on conflict of international laws on the issue of international child custody disputes.
He represents Indian and multinational clients in corporate and commercial disputes. A substantial part of his practice has been advising and representing large funds, conglomerates and infrastructure companies on their issues including disputes with shareholders, and regulatory bodies and insolvency and bankruptcy-related issues. and regulators. He regularly conducts trials and is a well-known face in the international arbitration circuit.
A client of Bhan says: “Ashish has been my go-to lawyer for any disputes situation as he always gets the work done. His out of [the] box thinking, pragmatism and attention to detail makes him my preferred choice. Ashish is a result-oriented lawyer with a vast knowledge of commercial laws and delivers most effective solution.”
ANUJ BERRY, 36, equity partner, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas
Berry, who has over 14 years of legal experience, is a litigation, dispute resolution and white-collar crimes defence expert. In a short period, he has become a go-to lawyer for commercial disputes and white-collar defence matters in India.
Among his significant work, Berry advised a Malaysian media group in investigations before the federal anti-corruption investigating authority, money laundering authority, and special court to conduct the trial of cases pertaining to the 2G Spectrum scam. He has also represented Infosys on an internal investigation arising out of various whistle-blower complaints concerning alleged manipulation of revenue figures, misuse of company resources/assets as well as breach of company processes by key managerial personnel.
Additionally, Berry has counselled a large U.S.-based foreign retailer in investigations and court-related action concerning the first investigation initiated against a private company by the Central Vigilance Commission in India.
A few of Berry’s clients include Walmart Stores, Tata Sons, Honeywell International, Vodafone, Microsoft, Infosys, and LG Chemicals.
SIMRAN DHIR, 36, head, competition law, S&R Associates
Dhir, who has been with S&R Associates for a decade, has over 13 years of experience in the legal industry. She focuses on competition law.
She has advised and represented Vodafone Group and Vodafone India in various competition law matters including obtaining CCI approval for the merger of Indus Towers into Bharti Infratel and a capital reduction of Vodafone India, integration planning for the merger of Vodafone India and Idea Cellular, and compliance matters relating to operations.
She also represented MakeMyTrip in competition law matters relating to the merger of the Ibibo Group, Dana Incorporated in competition law matters, including CCI approval relating to the proposed acquisition of the drive systems segment of the Oerlikon Group.
In addition, Dhir counselled Hitachi Payment Services in obtaining CCI approval relating to the formation of a joint venture with State Bank of India. She also represented IndusInd Bank in obtaining CCI approval for its acquisition of the diamond and jewellery financing business in India of The Royal Bank of Scotland N.V.
AAYUSH KAPOOR, 36, partner, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas
With over 14 years of experience in the industry, Kapoor is well versed in mergers and acquisitions, private equity, joint ventures, venture capital investments and general corporate matters with a focus on foreign investment, corporate restructuring, regulatory and general corporate advisory.
Kapoor and his team manage transactions focused on growth capital, spanning a broad range of new-age businesses including, inter alia, online real money gaming, e-commerce, online grocery, logistics, online real estate portals, digital media, lifestyle and health.
He has advised extensively on both founders/company-side mandates and investor mandates for fundraising from marquee investors including inter alia International Finance Corporation (IFC), Goldman Sachs, Norwest Venture Partners, Softbank, SAIF Partners and Tiger Global.
Among his noteworthy deals, Kapoor has advised Walmart on its acquisition of Flipkart, Grofers on each of its fund-raising rounds, and Babilou Group on their acquisition of Amelio Early Education.
Besides this, he was a part of the team which won the M&A Deal of the Year at the ALB India Law Awards 2019.
APARNA MEHRA, 39, partner, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas
Mehra is a senior lawyer, who has been in the legal industry for over 15 years. She is a specialist across various areas of corporate and commercial laws, and competition law.
As a merger control expert, Mehra has led and obtained approvals from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) in a large number of high profile merger control matters including Chryscapital/Intas, L&T/Schenider, GE/Alstom, PVR/DT Cinemas, Zuari Fertilizers and Chemicals/Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilizers, Bharti/Walmart, Intel/Motorola, and billion-dollar Bayer/Monsanto merger.
Additionally, Mehra advised Abu Dhabi Investment Authority on its acquisition of a minority stake in Jio Platforms for $750 million, Luxor Capital Partners, LP on its $60 million investment in Zomato, Lightstone Fund S.A. on its investment Vivriti Capital and Apollo Hospitals on its acquisition of Gleneagles Development’s stake in Apollo Gleneagles Hospital.
Mehra has also been involved in proposing amendments to the merger control regime to the CCI in light of the introduction of the time-bound insolvency resolution process under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016.
KUNAL MEHRA, 38, partner, Dua Associates
Mehra, who specialises in competition, mergers and acquisitions, and general corporate matters, has more than 15 years of experience.
He has worked on several important matters including the $130 billion Dow-Dupont merger, where he acted as the India anti-trust counsel to the Dow Chemical Company. He also successfully represented East India Petroleum before CCI and NCLAT in a complaint against South Asia LPG Company for indulging in abuse of dominance.
Also, Mehra undertook detailed competition compliance diligence of a leading two-wheeler manufacturer, advised Springfield Investments International BV in relation to its acquisition of a minority stake in Indiaideas. com, and represented Cummins India about potential competition-related issues arising out of their arrangements with one of their original equipment manufacturers.
CVS Suri, president and CEO of East India Petroleum, says: “I have observed Kunal very closely and find him to be a really intelligent and experienced competition/antitrust lawyer with an exceptional ability to provide an accurate forward-looking assessment of the thinking of the regulators on a given competition/anti-trust issue.”
PRATEEK MISHRA, 30, founder & principal, EPA Law Offices
Mishra is well versed in corporate and commercial litigation inter-national commercial arbitration and insolvency and bankruptcy. His practice is centred on high-value disputes often involving an international element.
He has led representation and advisory for clients in corporate and commercial disputes before the Supreme Court, the Delhi high court, the Bombay high court, securities appellate tribunal as well as the National Company Law Tribunal at Mumbai and Chennai. He has also represented parties before arbitral tribunals constituted under the rules of some leading arbitration institutions.
Mishra’s experience in advising and representing clients covers industry sectors including banking and finance, oil and gas, engineering, procurement and construction, defence and infrastructure, media and entertainment, accountancy, and risk advisory as well as design consultancy.
A client says: “Personally, I feel Prateek is a lawyer who demonstrates a very high level of professionalism, comprehends the matter entrusted to him with great responsibility giving the client a sense of comfort and ensuring deliverables to the client’s satisfaction.”
JEEVAN BALLAV PANDA, 34, partner, Khaitan & Co
Panda, who has been with Khaitan & Co from the start of his legal career, has about 13 years of industry experience. He focuses on dispute resolution and employment, labour, and benefits.
He is known for handling complex contractual disputes, commercial litigation and arbitration and advising on related pre and post-litigation strategy. He has successfully represented MNCs in high stake arbitrations against government entities and in disputes between private players, particularly in the railway, construction, and infrastructure sector. He also regularly argues matters before courts and arbitral tribunals.
In addition to this, Panda advises on matters including labour and employment issues, disciplinary/domestic inquiries, sexual harassment at the work-place, compliances under various labour legislations including those relating to social security benefits, shutdown/downsizing of businesses, industrial disputes, termination and transfers, contractual issues like - change in employment terms, non-solicitation, non-compete and confidentiality and handles related litigation.
He was also featured in ALB India’s Super 50 Lawyers 2020.
APURV SARDESHMUKH, 38, partner, Legasis Partners
Sardeshmukh is a lawyer well versed in general corporate and sports laws. Off his 14 years in the legal industry, he has been with Legasis Partners for nine years.
Among the clients that he has represented, Sardeshmukh was the counsel to cricketer Ajinkya Rahane in his investment and partnership with Mahindra Merikisan as well as when he was appointed as a brand ambassador and advisor by sports tech and events startup Hudle.
Additionally, Sardeshmukh advised ITI Growth Opportunities Fund when it invested in a Bengaluru-based tech start-up Araciv Technologies, which operates as Vicara. He also advised the same fund in its investment in Wagonfly.
Besides this, Sardeshmukh was a counsel for 1Crowd Fund with respect to the latest round of funding for health snack company Snackible. He also represented Pune Municipal Corporation in the issuance of 200 billion municipal bonds, the first such issuance by a municipal body, GST Autoleather in its Joint Venture with Tata International, and also advised Team Global Logistics in its acquisition of Chandra CFS & Terminal Operators Private Limited from Gateway Distriparks.
NATASHAA SHROFF, 36, partner, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas
A general corporate expert, Shroff has spent over 13 years in the legal space. She is a partner in the M&A private equity practice group having advised various Indian and international corporate groups, private equity funds, public and private companies across a spectrum of complex domestic and cross border mergers and acquisitions and investments. She has steered deals with potential for significant impact on the client’s business and the industry in which the client operates.
Shroff, who has counselled on different issues, has advised Paytm on its $1 billion investment by Alipay and Softbank. She also represented General Atlantic in the sale of its entire shareholding of 34.45 percent in Citech Healthcare Technology (CitiusTech) to Barolo Holdings B.V.
Shroff also guided SoftBank in its investment in Lenskart, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board on its investment in Delhivery, and Flipkart concerning its investment in Shadowfax Technologies Private Limited.
In 2019, Shroff was named Young Lawyer of the Year – Law Firm at the India Law Awards. In the following year, she was recognised as one of the lawyers in ALB’s 40 Under 40.
SHWETA SHROFF CHOPRA, 39, partner, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas
Chopra, who has spent more than 17 years in the legal space, focuses on competition law. She has been practising competition law in India since its early days and has been involved in many high-profile enforcement cases and merger control matters. She started the competition law practice at the firm eleven years ago along with just one associate and the practice has grown significantly and is now one of the largest in India with more than 40 qualified lawyers including 9 partners.
Among her important matters, Chopra successfully represented Vodafone India in securing an unconditional approval of its merger with Idea Cellular in Phase 1. She also advised Brookfield on its acquisition of 100 percent equity interest in Pipeline Infrastructure Private Limited (PIPL) which currently owns and operates the East-West Pipeline from Reliance. This transaction is the largest acquisitions by an InvIT in India.
Besides this, Chopra initiated and runs the firm’s mental health and wellness programme, which has put in place several measures to increase the awareness of mental health issues in the workplace to end the stigma. She also led the firm’s multi-disciplinary COVID-19 response team.
JOGINDER SINGH, 36, partner, LexOrbis
Singh, who focuses on intellectual property, heads the engineering patent practice at LexOrbis. He has over 12 years of experience in patent services and has handled both contentious and non-contentious patent matters.
Additionally, Singh drafts and prosecutes patent applications before Indian Patent Office and assists in the prosecution of foreign patent applications.
He also works with several national and international clients for managing their patent portfolio, and provides technical support during patent litigations and oppositions.
Among his noteworthy work, Singh has helped Ericsson in getting almost 726 Indian patents and also supported Interdigital in adding nearly 133 Indian patents to its portfolio.
Anoop Jain of Samsung Research Center says: “I have been working with Joginder for last six years, and during this period he has impressed me with this quality of deliverables, depth of knowledge, and practical approaches to provide us resolutions of the matters. His expertise coupled with his collaborative and innovative spirit and sincere attitude made him the go-to expert for our most significant projects.”
MITHUN V. THANKS, 39, equity partner, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas
A general corporate, M&A and private equity specialist, Thanks has been with the firm for more than five years. At the age of 35, Thanks was the youngest person to be promoted to the rank of Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas’ equity partner.
Thanks has represented several clients on different matters including Tata Motors Limited in its acquisition of the marquee brands Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford Motor Company.
He also advised McCormick and Company on its acquisition of the domestic rice and foods business of Kohinoor Foods Limited and their subsequent acquisition of majority shares in Kohinoor Speciality Foods as well as in the acquisition of strategic stake in curry ingredient maker Eastern Condiments.
Thanks’ clients include Goldman Sachs, Blackstone Group, UPS and British American Tobacco.
Jeffery D. Schwartz, vice president, general counsel and secretary, McCormick says that Thanks is “consistently providing clear, commercially practical advice, in a very prompt and responsive matter no matter the time of day, since 2010 when we first started working with him.”
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